Finally managed to play Pac-Man in pseudo-3D! With Pac-Mania, Namco brought in 1987 (and distributed by Atari Games in the United States and Europe) a different perspective of the almighty Pac-Man title to the arcades. The game was later converted to almost every home-computer and video-game console of the time, such as Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Sega Megadrive/Genesis, Nintendo NES, Sharp X68000 and many more! Note that the Acorn Archimedes port was released by Krisalis Software whilst the rest of the home-computer ports came from Grandslam LTD.
Story/Gameplay: It is a pseudo-3D interpretation of the classic maze game genre and features most elements of the original Pac-Man, as well as several new features. The lovable ghosts now glide through the air. Dots and energizer pellets hang in midair. Pac-Man gets a new power: He can jump up and over ghosts! There's also a Pac Booster feature that lets you move Pac-Man at super-speed. You'll love the new challenging mazes - they come in so many mind-boggling shapes, they'll turn you into a certified Pac-Maniac! Apart from the regular Dotty pills the maze also contains several larger pills of various colors. There are always four yellow ones that power ups Pac Man and make him mean giving him the ability to eat the ghosts for a short period of time (taken from the original 2D classic). Of course there are various other power-up pills (of different color) to collect during your quest! Pac-mania is an excellent game to play, indeed!
Graphics/Sound: The Acorn Archimedes conversion is pretty cool. The game here features pretty cute colorful graphics and innovative level design and concept most of them taken from the original. Although the Archimedes version is using up to 16 colors on-screen, when compared to the Amiga version (up to 32!) the graphics look similar, running smooth and being superior to the ST version (small gameplay area, running almost in black n white!). Of course the Sharp X68000 conversion is superior to all other 16bit conversions, and being identical to the original. The sound is excellent, featuring nice funny tunes and sounds FX all taken from the original. Note that the Archimedes version sounds a bit better when compared to the Amiga version.
In-game music sample:
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